2:00PM Water Cooler 7/16/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, this Water Cooler will be truncated, because I’m still reeling with the effects of fighting my way through submitting my taxes online. –lambert

#COVID19

At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. Our five problem states, with New York for comparison:

I’ll just keep doing this one until I see a peak followed by a decline. Florida blows past New York, with California and Texas falling back.

CA: “Californians turn against each other amid 2nd coronavirus shutdown” [Los Angeles Times]. • Many anecdotes…

FL: “This Southern metro area has become the epicenter of the coronavirus — and food insecurity” [NBC News]. “As South Florida grapples with being described as the new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also among the worst in the nation when it comes to its residents experiencing food insecurity and scarcity, according to Census Bureau data. Over 14 percent of South Florida residents — about 1 in 7 households — reported sometimes, or often, not having enough to eat in the last seven days. Last week it ranked first in food insecurity; this week it’s second only to the Houston metro area.”

FL: “At least 31 percent of children tested in Florida are positive for COVID-19: report” [FOX]. “Florida had tested 54,022 Florida residents under the age of 18, according to the state’s COVID-19 pediatric report on July 10. Of those tests, 16,797, or just over 31 percent, have come back positive. Meanwhile, the positivity rate for Florida’s entire population stands at roughly 11 percent.”

GA: “Kemp’s ban of mask mandates puts Georgia on collision course with its cities” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. “The governor’s order, signed late Wednesday, puts the state on a collision course with local leaders and public health experts who say requiring face coverings is an essential step to containing the spread of the coronavirus. Several mayors said they would continue to enforce mask mandates despite Kemp’s measure. ‘When it comes to protecting the lives of Augustans, we are not going to back down,’ Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis said. Though Kemp’s previous orders have barred local governments from taking more restrictive steps than the state, the rules he signed on Wednesday were the first to explicitly ban cities and counties from requiring the use of masks or other face coverings. The governor has said he believes requiring masks are a “bridge too far” and that such a mandate is unenforceable. Instead, he’s urged Georgians to don face coverings and warned not doing so threatens the college football season.” • Oh.

Politics

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

The electoral map. As of July 15: Kansas moves from Safe to Likely Republican. Yikes. On July 7, the undecided votes were 86. Now they are 56. This puts Biden at 278, i.e. over 270.


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

So, taking the consensus as a given, 270 (total) – 204 (Trump’s) = 66. Trump must win 66 from the states in play: AZ (11), FL (29), MI (16), NC (15), PA (20), and WI (10) plus 1 to win not tie = 102. 102 – 66 = 36. So if Trump wins FL, MI, NC, and PA (29 + 16 + 15 + 20 = 80), he wins. That’s a heavy lift. I think I’ve got the math right this time!

2020

Patient readers who were also Sanders canvassers, thank you for your responses. I am mulling them. I may end up doing a survey, hopefully not too onerous. –lambert

Biden (D)(1): “Biden’s Wall Street Undertow” [Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect]. Personnel is policy:

Biden is inundated with Wall Street supporters, who use their influence to assure that he will be another president in the Clinton-Obama mode—liberal-ish on social issues, but not a threat to Wall Street’s toxic business model, which is such a fundamental driver of gross inequality of income and wealth as well as extreme corporate concentration.

Today at 5:30, there is a big, virtual Biden fundraising event by and for Wall Street donors. It was organized by 44 alums* of the Obama and Clinton Treasury Departments.

Make a donation, and you too can participate. Lead gifts are $25,000.

Keynote speakers, discussing the future of the American economy, include former Treasury Secretary and OMB Director Jack Lew, and former head of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling. Lew, under Obama, was one of the cheerleaders for budget austerity. Sperling helped negotiate the end of Glass-Steagall.

Lew is now a partner at the private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg, which specializes in leveraged buyouts, one of the curses of the economy that a progressive Biden administration would need to rein in. Budget austerity plus private equity!

Gene Sperling, who runs his own strategies firm, is more of a liberal who genuinely cares about poverty and inequality, but far from a crusader for Wall Street reform. And he will be speaking to a group of Wall Street donors.

“Nothing fundamental will change.” –Joe Biden NOTE * Literally members of The Obama Alumni Association, no doubt.

Biden (D)(2): “THE BIDEN PLAN TO COMBAT CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND PREPARE FOR FUTURE GLOBAL HEALTH THREATS” [Joe Biden]. • This is the first plan.

Biden (D)(3): “JOE BIDEN’S PLAN TO BEAT COVID-19” [Joe Biden]. • This is the second.

Sanders (D)(1):

Trump (R)(1): “Threat of a Trump without rallies triggers fears across GOP” [Politico]. “At this point in 2016, Trump was already holding several rallies each week, including a double-header in Nevada and Arizona on June 18 and a three-day span in late July that featured six rallies in four states over 72 hours. By comparison, the president has only attended two large campaign gatherings — his Tulsa rally and a ‘Students for Trump’ event in Phoenix — since his March 13 Oval Office address about the novel coronavirus. The Trump campaign had hoped to be averaging two rallies per week by June 2020, according to a person involved with the president’s reelection.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Cannibalism Is No Cure for Covid-19” [The Nation]. “[S]ome of Trump’s most ardent supporters are making strange claims of the merits of eating human flesh. Alex Jones was a pioneer in the field. ‘I’ll admit it,’ Jones said on May 1. ‘I will eat my neighbors. I won’t have to for a few years ’cause I got food and stuff.… But I’m literally looking at my neighbors now and going, ‘I’m ready to hang ’em up and gut ’em and skin ’em. My daughters aren’t starving to death.’ I will eat my neighbors.’ It’s easy to dismiss Jones as unhinged, but on Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh, recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor available to an American, spoke favorably about the Donner Party, an infamous group of pioneers whose ill-fated trek to California in 1846–47 ended in the consumption of human corpses. Limbaugh contrasted the hardiness of the Donner Party with the alleged softness of the ‘Millennial generation,’ who stood accused of lacking the fortitude to do what is necessary in an emergency.” • Reminds me of this from the Orange County school board the other day: “Among our greatest responsibilities as adults is our responsibility to model courage and persistence in the face of uncertainty and fear.” For some definitions of “courage and persistence, I suppose.

* * *

Stats Watch

At reader request, I added some business stats back in. Please give Econintersect click-throughs; they’re a good, old-school blog that covers more than stats. If anybody knows of other aggregators, please contact me at the email address below.

Manufacturing: “July 2020 Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Index Marginally Declined” [Econintersect]. “The Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey marginally declined but remains well into expansion. Overall, this report was slightly better than last month’s report as key elements significantly improved.”

Retail Sales: “Retail Sales Again Improves in July 2020” [Econintersect]. “Retail sales modestly improved according to US Census headline data. The three-month rolling average improved.”

Inventories: “May 2020 Business Inventories Decline” [Business Inventories Decline]. “Headlines say final business sales data (retail plus wholesale plus manufacturing) improved month-over-month. The rolling averages improved. Inventories declined but remain elevated. There is little effect from the coronavirus this month except for inventory reduction. This is a strange recession where normally inventories rise – but the coronavirus recession caused inventories to rise.”

Employment Situation: “U.S. Job Gains Look Like They’re Slowing or Reversing in July” [Bloomberg]. “U.S. job gains are set to slow sharply or even reverse in July after a resurgent coronavirus and new wave of shutdowns stymied the economic rebound…. The July unemployment rate will be based on whether respondents have a job this week, while payroll counts are based on the pay period — mostly weekly or biweekly — that includes the 12th of the month. That means any layoffs or stalled rehiring related to the latest shutdowns will potentially be a factor in the July jobs report due Aug. 7, though several analysts expect a greater impact in August’s or September’s figures, given that there was probably more rehiring before this week. Coming on the heels of a combined gain of 7.5 million jobs in May and June, the trends spell a slowdown or halt to the labor-market rebound that President Donald Trump is counting on to revive his re-election chances.”

* * *

Tech: I confess, I used Google, but that’s good because I got to see Google losing its mind:

First, the match may not be “great” but it is exact! Second, isn’t that about the worst use of precious screen real estate you’ve ever seen? Couldn’t they at least let me choose to read the tips by clicking “?” or something? The madness continues:

Two exact results and one very close result equal “no results?” Huh?

Pandemic: “Virus Fears Hurt U.S. Economy Whether Locked-Down or Reopened” [Bloomberg]. “In a study of customer visits to more than 2.25 million businesses, University of Chicago economists Austan Goolsbee and Chad Syverson found that traffic fell by 60 percentage points — and that legal restrictions explained only slightly more than one-tenth of that drop. The decline began before stay-at-home orders were in place, was closely tied to the number of virus deaths locally, and showed that consumers were actively avoiding the busier stores, according to the paper distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research. ‘The politicians like to feel like they’re the ones in control of making the decision, but at the end of the day the virus is the boss,’ said Goolsbee, a former aide to President Barack Obama. ‘If the death rate goes back up and people get scared, the economy will get worse. It could easily wipe out the economic recovery that you generated in the short run by getting rid of the order.’ That’s why the key pandemic data-point is the reinfection rate, known as R0, he said: ‘We are going to end up back to the plan which is we have to do everything to get the R0 down so this disease peters out.'”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 62 Greed (previous close: 62 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 53 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 16 at 12:20pm. Whoa, back to Greed!

The Biosphere

“New York Driver Captures Water Spewing Inside the Lincoln Tunnel” (video) [Yahoo News]. • I was hesitant to run this, but at least one major venue went with it. The video:

“Concerning.”

Health Care

“Maine is 1 of 2 states where coronavirus cases continue to fall” [Bangor Daily News]. “The downward trend in cases puts Maine alongside neighboring New Hampshire as the only two states where the virus is declining… Testing numbers dropped slightly, with only 15,000 new viral tests performed compared to more than 15,600 the previous week… the percentage of tests coming back positive continued to decline, with the average daily positivity rate over the last week dropping to 1 percent. It suggests that the continued drop in case numbers was not due to less testing. The overall positivity rate dropped to 3.2 percent…. The state announced Tuesday that 18 new “swab-and-send” sites were opening and would send samples from patients who meet the state’s testing criteria to the Maine CDC lab in Augusta. The Maine-based testing should allow the state to avoid national testing backlogs, said Jeanne Lambrew, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services. Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah acknowledged that some Maine residents looking to get tests through private companies have experienced longer wait times due to high national demand in recent weeks.” • If Maine can set up its own testing facilities….

“Fewer Covid ICU Deaths Suggest Care Is Improving, Study Finds” [Bloomberg]. “Overall mortality of Covid-19 patients treated in ICUs had fallen to just under 42% at the end of May from almost 60% in March. That’s according to the first systematic analysis of two dozen studies involving more than 10,000 patients in Asia, Europe and North America… ‘It may reflect the rapid learning that has taken place on a global scale due to the prompt publication of clinical reports early in the pandemic,’ wrote the authors, led by Tim Cook, an anesthesiologist and intensive care physician in Bath, England. ‘It may also be that ICU admission criteria have changed over time, for example, with greater pressure on ICUs early in the pandemic surge.'” • Or both!

“Face masks as pro-growth economic policy” [James Pethokoukis, AEI]. “[I]f the econ team at Goldman Sachs is anywhere close to being right, mask-wearing is a tremendous pro-growth economic policy with a tremendous return on investment. From “Face Masks and GDP,” a new GS note: ‘[A] face mask mandate could potentially substitute for lockdowns that would otherwise subtract nearly 5% from GDP.’ A pretty good bargain, then. Avoiding a trillion-dollar GDP subtraction at the cost of $59 million to $1 billion for 325 million N95 masks.” • Elite consensus… In the Western World, at least.

“A mask cuts your COVID-19 risk by 65%, experts say” [World Economic Forum]. “A range of new research on face coverings shows that the risk of infection to the wearer decreases by 65%, says Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Davis Children’s Hospital. ‘On the issue of masks, I’d like to restart—because we’ve learned a lot,” Blumberg says. “We’ve learned more due to research and additional scientific evidence. What we know now is that masks work and are very important.’ Blumberg and William Ristenpart, a professor of chemical engineering, appeared on a recent livestream devoted to explaining how the coronavirus spreads and how to prevent transmission. In their comments and answers to questions from viewers, Blumberg and Ristenpart repeatedly made the point that research continues to support the fundamental methods to prevent spreading COVID-19: Wear masks, maintain social distance, and keep social interactions outdoors whenever possible.” • Elite consensus…

“Israeli Data Show School Openings Were a Disaster That Wiped Out Lockdown Gains” [The Daily Beast]. “Of 1,400 Israelis diagnosed with COVID-19 last month, 657 (47 percent) were infected in schools. Now 2,026 students, teachers, and staff have it, and 28,147 are quarantined.” • Yikes.

“Federal stockpile is thin amid coronavirus surge, internal documents show” [NBC]. “The federal government may not have the capacity to supply medical professionals with personal protective equipment amid the latest surge in coronavirus cases, according to internal administration documents obtained by NBC News. For example, the Strategic National Stockpile and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have fewer than 900,000 gloves in reserve after shipping 82.7 million of them — or just 30 percent of the amount requested by state, local and tribal governments — since the COVID-19 crisis began, according to figures compiled Sunday by Health and Human Services Department officials for senior leaders of the interagency coronavirus task force effort. In particular, nursing homes and long-term care facilities say there is a major personal protective equipment shortage.”

Zeitgeist Watch

“”Welcome Home” – Walt Disney World Cast Members” (video) [Walt Disney World Cast and Community]. I’m a little behind the curve on this one; and I’m sorry to use Facebook, but on YouTube, the original — if is there — has been overwhelmed by parodies and “fixes.” Love the brown shirt-colored Mickey at the start, but to listen all the way to the end; it’s only 31 seconds long.

Guillotine Watch

Promotional items:

“Sqirl Founder Jessica Koslow Promises to Throw Away Moldy Jam From Now On” [Eater Los Angeles]. • Oh.

Class Warfare

“The Surprising Cross-Racial Saga of Modern Wealth Inequality” [Adolph Reed, The New Republic]. “[T]he racial wealth gap’s ultimate source is the racial income gap—and therefore closing the income gap would be the most effective route to narrowing the wealth gap. The right-wing panaceas of tax cuts and privatization count for little in redressing the black-white wealth gap, in other words; policies that redistribute income downward will have the greatest direct effect on most African Americans’ capacities to accumulate household or family wealth. There’s a vital lesson here for liberal economic reformers as well: Reversing the great concentration of income at the top that has occurred during the last half-century not only would benefit all working- and middle-class Americans but also would be especially beneficial to African Americans hoping at long last to overcome the economic legacies of discrimination.” • Controversial among reparations advocates, I am sure.

“Reader’s Guide to Anti-Oedipus” [Ian Buchanan]. “Deleuze’s hypothesis is that hitherto most theories of power, particularly those developed by the Left, treat it as a problem of interests – power is consolidated in the hands of a ruling class and exercised according to a set of protocols that best serve their inter- ests. The US invasion of Iraq in 2003, for instance, was blatantly in the interest of the ruling elite in the US inasmuch as it offered a tremendous opportunity for personal and corporate enrichment…. For Deleuze, the only adequate way of posing the question of power is in terms of desire. But one has to first of all abandon the old binaries that distinguish between the powerful and the power- less, those who have power and the freedom to exercise it and those who do not, because such rigid separations blind us to the real com- plexity of power relations. Power is a highly variegated substance with both a consolidated (molar) and dispersed (molecular) form. Consolidated and dispersed are not simply new codewords for powerful and powerless, but a reconfiguration of our understanding of how power actually works into the language of process. Every substance has both a consolidated and a dispersed dimension, depending on how you look at it. To the naked eye the human body is a self-contained whole made up of solid state organs and limbs, but under the microscope it is a vast multiplicity of cells which are made up of even more microscopic entities which rely on the pre-existence of still smaller entities and so on to infinity. The body never ceases to be the body, regardless of how infinitesimal our gaze is, just as the cells composing our body never cease in their being when we look up from the microscope.” • Hmm.

News of the Wired

A pitiful, helpless giant shrimp with a gun:

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (GJ):

GJ writes: “I take almost macro photos of plants to use as my desktop background which tend to be very big, and somewhat blurred – I’ve attached a very reduced image of the one I’m currently using. Are these acceptable for your plant photos?” In my personal aesthetic, I reject blur except when its caused by motion. At the same time, however, that would make photographing flowers very difficult, because small aperture tends to mean a slow shutter, and flowers — as adaptive beings! — sway in the slightest breeze — and blur. Here, the combination of the soft background and soft colors is very pretty (and I assume you line up your icons on the the left :-).

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

215 comments

  1. William Hunter Duncan

    I find it much easier to do it by hand. It was easier to print the docs at a print shop, fill them out and mail them, rather than descending into shouting at the computer and the IRS until I collapse.

    Reply
    1. fwe'zy

      I also like to do them by hand, but worry about whether they get to the IRS because of course I don’t bother standing in line to get the letter certified! This year, though, I did the work by hand and then went with Credit Karma free e-file just to be sure. Turbo Tax wanted $60 just for the federal.

      Reply
        1. fwe'zy

          I would’ve had to use Deluxe Turbo T due to Healthcare Marketplace and Unemployment. Credit K was free regardless. Re class action: Damn. Im sure they see the settlement as a mere cost of doing business!

          Reply
        2. John Zelnicker

          @D. Fuller
          July 16, 2020 at 3:46 pm
          ——-

          There was indeed a settlement, but it really only addressed some of the worst behavior. IIRC, there was no agreement on publicizing the Free File facility. That was left up to the IRS and they have little to no money for advertising.

          Please, everyone, publicize the Free File Alliance through the IRS web site.

          Taxpayers who qualify for Free File, which is probably a majority of them, should not have to pay for filing a federal tax return. Most states also allow free filing through their tax department web site, usually at the Dept. of Revenue or similar agency.

          I make most of my living preparing tax returns, but my clients don’t qualify for Free File, or they’re not comfortable enough to do it themselves.

          Everyone who can should take advantage of Free File.

          Reply
      1. Otto

        They don’t need to be certified. Have the post master cancel it & take a picture. Anyways in court no matter what proofs you ‘sent’ it none of that proofs the IRS received it. A FOIA will though. They are evil by design.

        Reply
        1. Otto

          As it happens I’m dragging them into court in August, they will pay, in my experience within 10 days. *Sigh*, the things one must do as a citizen to occasional make the government do what they have agreed to. My country, your country, your country.

          Reply
    2. Stephen V.

      Depending on whether you really need a refund or not…IRS’ current ability to deal with paper returns is highly questionable. Only yesterday! Did they say they would “make paper returns a priority.” After Covid shutdowns.
      IRS has never in my 40 years been a model of efficiency but truth be told, they have never been the same since the Jan. 2019 shutdown. …Lambert I’d say send the Beast some estimated $$ and let the professionals sweat the deadlines. (IOW file an Extension). I’m still in my pajamas today.

      Reply
      1. anEnt

        Translation: paper returns are a priority, but they are not a high priority. They have been prioritized.

        Reply
      2. chuck roast

        Here’s the deal… (cough)

        The IRS is paying interest on 2019 refunds after April 19 to the tune of 5% compounded daily until June 30. Thereafter, the interest rate drops to 3% until Sept. 30. Interest payments may be received seperately from the refunds….or so I hear.

        Reply
        1. John Zelnicker

          @chuck roast
          July 16, 2020 at 9:18 pm
          ——-

          That’s about right.

          The IRS will pay interest from April 15 until the refund check or direct deposit is sent. Interest payments will likely be separate and they are taxable income in the year received. Taxpayers will receive a 1099-INT from the IRS in January.

          The rate is 5% annually and it’s not compounded, AFAIK. (Willing to be corrected on this point.)

          I’m not sure of the interest rate reduction as of June 30. I get a lot of emails from the IRS since I’m as tax accountant and I haven’t seen that yet.

          Reply
  2. Wukchumni

    CA: “Californians turn against each other amid 2nd coronavirus shutdown” [Los Angeles Times]. • Many anecdotes…
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I was at the supermarket in Visalia a week ago, and easily 95% had masks on, the exceptions being a couple of families of four with 8 & 10 year old kids-all sans protection, and I gave them the dirtiest look, not that they would know.

    Reply
    1. GC54

      I wonder what their thinking process is? 95% of those around *in a confined space* have a mask on but “I know better” (smug). What else do they adhere to? Here’s a start. A fascinating social science study awaits.

      Reply
      1. Unsympathetic

        The dad is that guy from high school who thinks casual sex without a condom has no risks?
        Or every day wears no hardhat on commercial construction sites?

        Reply
        1. eg

          I told my children when they complained about having to wear a bike helmet when other kids didn’t that they only needed to if they had a brain to protect …

          Reply
        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > The dad is that guy from high school who thinks casual sex without a condom has no risks

          From the link above:

          Still, trying to shame people into healthier behavior generally doesn’t work—and actually can make things worse.

          Shaming didn’t work with condoms either:

          ublic-health professionals have learned this lesson before. In 1987, Congress banned the use of federal funds for HIV-prevention campaigns that might “promote or encourage, directly or indirectly, homosexual activities.” As a result, public-health campaigns avoided sex-positive imagery and messaging, and instead associated condom use with virtue and condomless sex with irresponsibility, disease, and death. According to one particularly foreboding poster, which featured an image of a gravestone: “A bad reputation isn’t all you can get from sleeping around.” But those moralistic, fear-mongering health messages often fell flat. Other HIV-prevention campaigns began to adopt a harm-reduction approach, which empathizes with people’s basic human needs and offers them strategies to limit potential dangers. For some men, condoms got in the way of what they valued most about sex: pleasure and intimacy. Not surprisingly, HIV-prevention campaigns that put pleasure and intimacy at the center of their safer-sex messaging tended to work.

          Summoning compassion for people who have a hard time wearing masks, or even the people who flat-out object to them, isn’t such a tall order. Many Americans genuinely want to keep their community safe, and recognize that masks reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. But just like the well-intended condom on the nightstand that never makes it out of its wrapper, some masks don’t make it onto someone’s face—often for relatable reasons.

          I find it hard to summon compassion for happy young people at the beach who will later go to the bars and infect each other, or their grandmothers, or random people on the long drive home from Spring Break. Everybody has seen those images! They are meant to shame — and for some reason, liberal Democrats — hence a large faction of the media — just l-o-o-o-v-e them their shaming. They’ve been using the tactic for years….

          Reply
    2. polecat

      I was at the (Gasp! .. for all you pearl clutches out there..) self-checkout .. at my local big food place yesterday. As I proceeded to scan my goods, the gal (mom) .. who HAD a facemask on, was shouting at her chilling to get this and that, from the next droid to I my right – very Forcefully!! Honest to HeyZeus! It boggles my mind how some people have not a shred of courtesy, nor ANY self-awareness?

      It was all I could do, to not go all covid on her blaring ass!

      Reply
  3. fresno dan

    “Cannibalism Is No Cure for Covid-19” [The Nation].

    I have been saying for years: eat the rich
    And, “cannibalism is no cure for Covi-19” – how do you know till you eat a few dozen billionaires??? – I say give it a try.
    The only thing is, I don’t like Chianti or Fava beans. And remarkably, the intertubes provide no side dishes…

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      but on Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh, recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor available to an American, spoke favorably about the Donner Party, an infamous group of pioneers whose ill-fated trek to California in 1846–47 ended in the consumption of human corpses. Limbaugh contrasted the hardiness of the Donner Party with the alleged softness of the ‘Millennial generation,’ who stood accused of lacking the fortitude to do what is necessary in an emergency.
      =============================================
      I’m thinking Rush could provide the main courses for a small family for at LEAST a month…

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Here’s a venue for Rush to broadcast from…

        Named after Colorado’s most famous cannibal, the Alferd Packer Grill is a multi-venue hot spot in the middle of campus open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is known for its vast salad bar with locally sourced options and an allergen-free section, “plant forward” Thursday specials and daily changing chef-inspired lunch specials. Accepts Campus Cash, Munch Money, Meal Plans, credit cards and cash.

        https://www.colorado.edu/umc/dining/alferd-packer

        Reply
        1. JoeK

          One summer in the ’90s I hiked the 5 or so miles from the trailhead to Packard plateau and spent the night camped alone below it next to Devil’s Lake. It was a little spooky. I made the short climb to the plateau the next day, beautiful with 360 degree views of the SW CO ranges. If I’m not mistaken it’s the highest plateau in the lower 48, I’d read that (in a book no less) which is why I checked it out, the cannibalism factor was just a side bennie.
          The place I filled up at in Lake City had some Packard-themed tourist info and tchotchkes for sale, natch.

          Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          “Gamy but well-marbled”.

          Never mind the rich, eat the pundits. Life can be sweet and tranquil with fewer squealing neolib shills in the night.

          Reply
      2. John

        Rush would be typical meat from big ag industrial meat production: diseased, drug addled, damaged…probably tainted with prions and not very tasty. Maybe useful as a low grade protein and fat supplement for cheap dogfood or composted and spread for brownfields restoration.

        Reply
      3. SufferinSuccotash

        Not a good idea to choose the Donner Party as a shining example of American hardihood. What the DP really provides is a prime example of poor planning, shortsightedness and pig-headed refusals to take sound advice and face realities. Sound familiar?

        Reply
        1. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

          Reminds me of “Scot of the Antarctic”: functionally stupid in contrast to Admunsen, but still a hero to many. If I were labelled a hero, I would have to hang my head in shame.

          Now Shackleton; that’s a different matter.

          Pip-pip!

          Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      Seeing as there’s hardly any food grown within 50 miles of suburbia in SoCal, cadavers would be ideal for BBQ and if slathered with enough sauce, who would know the difference, is what i’m thinking.

      In the meantime, Dr. Hogly Wogly’s Tyler Texas BBQ in the SFV makes a mean brisket, if I haven’t put off your palate from such matters.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I don’t know what suburbia in SoCal is like. If any of it is made up of real yards with a real house on each yard, then those real yards could be used to grow food of one kind or another.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          The funny thing is that the SoCalist movement is totally set up for bovine intervention but it’s against the law to use a lawn like that.

          Reply
            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              A lot of Los Angeles water itself comes from the Owens Valley, if memory serves.
              Withal, L A certainly has and will have just enough water that they can either do some back yard swimming pools or some backyard gardening but not both.

              Let Darwin decide whether the choices Los Angeloids make will be the wise ones.

              Reply
        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > For a fun watch on the subject, try “Parents,”

          Parents got very, very good reviews at IMDB. From one (10/10):

          Suburbia is not a place to talk as is the city, it’s a place to think, to think for yourself. Suburbia is a place where there is no one to entertain you but yourself. You are then all alone and that’s what is scary. You start imagining things because you have nothing else to do. The biggest part of the world is in your own head when you’re growing up in Suburbia and yes, things can get ugly. You have to see past realist concerns when analysing this movie and see the straight fear, the straight uncertainty of it all… I know this all sounds awfully confusing but look at it this way: I am a loner born in the american suburbia and I can honestly say that Parents is a brilliant depiction of all the fears and doubts I’ve encountered as a child. I almost watch this film as a documentary now and I totally feel it as a recollection of what my own life partially was. Well-made, well-thought-of stuff. Let all the kids issued from a suburban childhood see it and shiver at the sight of such a just rendering of their troubled past.

          Makes you think, since the Democrat Party is adding suburban Republicans to its base. The horror, the horror….

          However, I’ve never lived in the suburbs, as a child or as an adult. Is this…. depiction at all accurate?

          Reply
    3. Amfortas the hippie

      risotto and grilled asparagus works well in my experience for just about anything resembling pork.
      surprisingly, marbling is often an issue…they must sometimes, depending on the initial conformity of the animal, be fed a high carb diet, and their movement limited, lest the meat get too tough.
      In any case, they generally benefit from a good 24 hours in a marinade, usually wine based.

      Reply
    4. José de Freitas

      I think fava beans and chianti is only when eating the brains, which is the part of the bilionaires you DON’T want to eat.

      Reply
        1. JacobiteInTraining

          I wear a mask to increase my attractiveness to the opposite sex.

          And no, I have no idea what i will do in the future when we can stop wearing masks, and they see what I *actually* look like – I’m just presuming its gonna be a loooooonnngggg time until I get called out on it!!

          (The Male of the species must constantly improvise, adapt, and overcome, right? :)

          Reply
      1. Bill Smith

        From the mask article : 65% reduction. Is that for me wearing a mask and the other people not wearing a mask? Or for me and all the other people wearing a mask?

        Reply
      2. polecat

        No no. You should mask up .. so the CEO, ANY CEO … notionally attached to Corporate Company XYX, can jet away in their private conveyance whilst not have to wear one, after having scarfed up all that Cares Act cheddar – thus adding to THEIR personal unencumbered bottom line grift.

        “Clink” .. Ah!, the sound of fine crystal .. at 30,000 feet, sans face-covering!

        Reply
  4. Michael Hudson

    Don’t believe the New Republic claim to explain the Black wealth disparity by lower income.Earning wages is NOT how wealth has been obtained since 1945. It’s “capital gains,” mainly rising housing prices. That is what has created most middle-class wealth.
    For white people, that is, Blacks have been redlined. That has blocked them from riding the rise in housing prices and bequeathing homes to their children.
    The reparations they deserve are homes of their own. There is no other way to give them equality. Of course, politically this requires giving all homeless people homes of their own in order to meet the criterion of middle class.
    Instead, we’re seeing a surge in homelessness.

    Reply
    1. fwe'zy

      Homelessness is driven by many factors, many of which can be remedied if politics allow: driven out to make room for renovation or rebuilding for a higher rent (gentrification); job loss; the opposite of gentrification (community decline and neglect); school-to-prison pipeline … Pump-n-dump culture.

      Simply giving people a stable home to live in has been shown to yield significant transformation, but the other factors have got to be addressed and transformed on a societal level. The wealth-building aspect discussed by Hudson is an additional, distinct benefit, and stability is implicit (or has to be). Obviously asset inflation economy is itself a problem.

      Reply
      1. anon

        How do you handle rising property taxes, maintenance costs, etc? Homeownership is not cheap and those costs can significantly eat into any appreciation.

        Reply
      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        Anchorage did that when population crashed after the pipeline boom in the 80s. Used permanent fund dividends for the closings.

        Reply
  5. Glen

    Wow, just saw my photo on a Water Cooler! I am honored!

    I blur these because I find a blurred background less distracting, and my desktop icons are on the left.

    THANK YOU! Most satisfying!

    Reply
      1. Glen

        Um, I’m going to have to plead ignorance. I was taking photos at a local nursery but neglected to take notes on the plants themselves. I’ll ask my wife, she is the gardener in the family and might remember.

        Reply
      1. Glen

        Here ya go:

        Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (GJ):

        Reply
  6. Anonymous

    I freaking hate the phrase “food insecurity.” It only exists because Luntz and Rove saw that after Iraq, W was unpopular on every front except “national security” issues, so they renamed “hunger.” I wish it were still called that, since that’s what it is.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Every person disturbed by this renaming of hunger can be his/her own little point of correction. Wherever heeshee hears or reads the phrase ” food insecurity”, heeshee can ask in all well-feigned innocence and with a straight face the following question: ” What is ” food insecurity”? Is that like “hunger”?

      And ask it and keep asking it until the user of the phrase ” food insecurity” is either forced to say the word “hunder” or is forced to reveal that heeshee will Never Ever use the word “hunger”.

      Reply
      1. Jason Boxman

        I assume it’s a kind of hand waiving that means inconsistent access to food; So the protestation might be that someone that suffers such insecurity might not actually ever have the misfortune of going hungry, but is merely at risk.

        It’s a great technique to redefine success, as well. There must be some liberal Democrat phrase that wipes away all the uninsured, for example.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          “deplorables”

          “fly-over”

          “rural”

          “white working class”

          “Republican Voters”

          “red-states”

          I could do the Republican Version, next, but I’m tired, and you get the idea.

          Reply
    2. Basil Pesto

      American Sprechregelung is truly something else. The pinnacle of that particular art was probably ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’, which would be funny, if it wasn’t.

      Reply
  7. hunkerdown

    Quotes tell a search engine you want an exact word match. Google, as most search engines, will strip off the quotes and try again with spelling correction, synonym mapping, etc. if there is no exact phrase match. It’s working as designed.

    Reply
      1. D. Fuller

        How about also including the results from DuckDuckGo which uses Google, for some more insanity?

        There have been some really strange results when comparing the two.

        Since Google *personalizes” results, using two or more separate devices can also lead to Google insanity.

        Reply
      2. flora

        What Google replied was there was no *Google owned or affiliated* news outlet/store/video/data site match. /heh

        If only google translate could translate ‘googleish’.

        Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Trumpty Dumpty can want whatever he wants.

        That doesn’t necessarily mean that the targets of his demands have to give him what he wants.

        Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      As far as the headline goes, I would have attributed the missing page to stupidity rather than malice; but the source quoted goes with malice. CDC has not covered itself with glory either in its data management or its website. It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that they would screw up.

      Reply
  8. Mark Gisleson

    A friend just told me his next author interview is for a book with “Nixon” in the title.

    I looked but finally gave up as Google search/news refused to be helpful even with date restraints. I knew I could go to Amazon and almost certainly figure it out but I refused as it seemed to me as if Google was trying to drive me to their site by refusing to provide obvious links.

    When I threw in terms like “buy” they finally came up with a book about Nixon listed on Amazon. Published in 2012 so probably not the one my friend was talking about.

    Sigh.

    Reply
  9. temporal

    Although the state and national tax sites don’t appear to like of the non-electronic approach, I do the fill-in PDFs that they make available rather than do it by hand and do the calculations in yearly spreadsheets.

    This way I know that they can read what would otherwise be my handwriting. I also get a good copy of the modified PDFs to save on an encrypted drive so that I can use that as a reference for the next year.

    To me, the on-line version is too much like electronic voting. Folks down the line can make changes – though I’m sure that would never happen – but I avoid a point of failure that way. The New York state PDF forces the user to use Adobe so the recipient can scan the result quickly but that’s a minor issue.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      The pdf forms for my state New Jersey take about 15 minutes/page to print on my high speed black&white lazer printer. Not sure what the issues are — ? — I am guessing the colored boxes for each character are probably the issue. I also doubt anyone in my state government cares about such things.

      The idea of filing taxes on-line for state or Federal taxes is about as appealing as it might be to go to a crowded Supermarket at the busiest time of day without my clothes and shoes.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        we’ve made enough to owe something only once that i can remember.
        I did the forms by hand for years…even when i had my own cafe…, until we decided to try H%Rblk. They at least wet their beak somewhat out of site, with my permission, in a stream that’s larger than when i did it myself.
        haven’t given a thought to it since.
        it shouldn’t be as complicated as it is, and i don’t know whether to blame bureaucracy or neoliberalism or malice as a motivating factor.
        so very many things are obscured by complexity.

        Reply
        1. polecat

          This is the first time in years, YEARS I Tells Ya! .. that we’ve actually received a refund!

          I blame Orange de Julius for this auspicious occasion ..
          ‘;]

          Take THAT! .. wokesters.

          Reply
  10. Lee

    Lambert: I did the Google searches, which for you produced no results, and I got some suitable links. Google appears to be either picking on you or responding to your criticism.

    Reply
    1. Google Stupid

      Lambert, you are right. They have lost their minds. I get something even worse or outright ridiculous:

      0 Results (0,91 Seconds)

      Then below I get the translator bubbles.
      The left Bubble says “Chinese” but text (which is the search string “Chinese GDP grows 3.2% in second quarter”) is in English
      The right Bubble has this text translated to German.

      Search filters are set to “any language”, “any time”, “all results”.

      Reply
    2. Alfred

      I could not replicate the first anomaly (I got no error messages; just a list of good results), but I could replicate the second one. That one yielded both ‘No results found for “chinese gdp grows 3.2% in second quarter”‘ and a number of apparently valid links to Financial Times, MarketWatch, CNBC, Reuters, etc. Curious. Might the issue have something to do with entities that either do or do not advertise on Google?

      Reply
      1. RMO

        I had the same result for the Chinese GDP search. I haven’t actually used Google before on my current computer and it’s set to delete all cookies and history when the browser window is closed (which I do often) so I should have a relatively “clean” result. It takes up space saying there are no results for an exact match, then presents an ostensibly non-exact match selection of three links as “Top Stories” before showing the exact match as a regular search return.

        DuckDuckGo just gives me the FT story right at the top of the list as an exact match.

        Reply
  11. XXYY

    Reminds me of this from the Orange County school board the other day: “Among our greatest responsibilities as adults is our responsibility to model courage and persistence in the face of uncertainty and fear.” For some definitions of “courage and persistence, I suppose.

    Note that the meeting where this brave sentiment was uttered by a fearless Board member was a remote meeting held on Zoom; none of the Board members were even in the same room, because, hey, it’s dangerous!

    So “modeling courage and persistence” does not mean, you know, modeling it. It just means spouting valiant sounding things while you feed other people into the meat grinder and personally keep yourself out of all danger.

    Soldiers hear similar rhetoric from political and senior military people when they are launching one of their optional wars. “Sacrifice… bravery… heroes… future generations.”

    You’ve heard it all before.

    Reply
      1. Redlife2017

        This is the real life example from the UK on 12 March 2020. Thank you Boris Johnson:

        “We’ve done what can be done to contain this disease. And this has bought us valuable time…We have all got to be clear, this is the worst public health crisis for a generation. Some people compare it to seasonal flu. Alas, that is not right. Due to the lack of immunity this disease is more dangerous.

        It is going to spread further and I must level with you, I must level with the British public: many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.”

        I will note that at that point, the government and the scientists refused to put in social distancing because it “wasn’t the right moment within the pandemic” (from the Guardian article)

        I’ve recently had a conversation with a C-suite individual who is thought of as being recognisably “human” (and this person is human compared to the rest of them who are either paper thin with a love of golf and wine or think that working until midnight is the wave of the future). They noted that we will need to live with the uncertainty and must get back to living. It’s the new world. Nothing about the precautionary principle, nothing about wanting to make sure that we don’t have a second wave. Here’s the thing – I started that part of our conversation by noting how awful it is that I have relatives in Dallas, Texas and that I am worried about them (several are over 60 with one in his mid-70s). That was their response.

        Reply
    1. polecat

      I’d send you a kickass homebrew mead, but It’s not done aging yet. It’ll be 6 months to a year before sedation ensues.

      Reply
  12. Wukchumni

    When I was a tyke, my dentist was the evil Dr. Taylor, whose torture chamber was fully equipped, and after an hour ordeal, he’d let me pick out a 10 Cent toy from a wicker basket. As if that made everything better.

    A frickin’ ballpoint pen for putting your life in danger, just shows how they can buy us off for trinkets. I’m surprised Swiss RN’s didn’t get some shiny beads.

    Reply
    1. Keith

      In fairness, they are doing the job they signed up to do. It is kind of giving a cop a gift for arresting a criminal a firefighter one for putting out a fire or a soldier one for shooting a guy. It is the job they chose. They shouldn’t need anything else beside their agreed upon compensation package.

      Reply
        1. Keith

          Not at all, just someone who works and understands that I don’t deserve extras for just doing my job.

          I do not understand this everybody needs a hug and a trophy concept that seems to be the fad, especially as we make heros out of people just doing their jobs.

          Reply
            1. Keith

              Yes, it is part of the contract when the sign up, as in the agreed upon terms for higher. I cannot speak for doctors, but nurses get some nice benefits (RN’s at least). Again, I am not discounting their work, only that they deserve anything more for doing a job they were paid to do.

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                Then why are they constantly conflating them through the use of the word “Heros?”
                Secondly, when the mass walkouts begin, will the Authorities try to enforce compliance? Reagan was able to ‘break’ the Air Traffic Controllers union because he had barely enough military ATCs available to take up the slack as new ATCs were being trained and indoctrinated. The population of nurses is vastly greater than ATCs. Do the Authorities have enough military nurses to do the job for the amount of time it will take to train adequate replacements? Or will the Authorities throw up their hands and accept a higher death rate as the “cost of doing business?”

                Reply
          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Hug and trophy, and pat-on-the-back as hero? I smell Troll dung. Try — a reward that folds or rides several zeroes. Hugs and a trophy and ‘hero-pats’ are so insulting and hardly what the Swiss RNs expected to receive!

            You just “do your job” and take home your weekly? … Do you even know what your job is? Unless your job is very simple you might be shocked to discover just what you job really is. Have you read the fine print? Did you sign your intellectual property release?

            Reply
        2. allan

          Billionaires are famously bad tippers:

          David Koch Gave $50 Holiday Tips at 740 Park Avenue
          [Bloomberg,2012]

          … “The cheapest person overall was David Koch,” the former doorman tells [documentarian Alex] Gibney, his voice altered and his face in shadow.
          “We would load up his trucks — two vans usually — every weekend for the Hamptons.
          “In and out, in and out, heavy bags. We would never get a tip from Mr. Koch. We would never get a smile from Mr. Koch.”

          Koch did, however, hand out Christmas bonuses. Each doorman got a check for $50.

          Bootstraps, baby.

          Reply
          1. Yves Smith

            OMG even I tipped more than that at Christmas, and made a point of giving the guys $20s intermittently, like when I would have them help me replace the lights in a halogen fixture (a 2 person job due to bulbs being difficult + glass scones around bulbs not being replaceable and therefore meriting special handling).

            Even worse, a check????? When you can deduct expenses of up to $599 a person without issuing them a 1099?

            Reply
            1. Bugs Bunny

              When I was unemployed I gave my building manager 100€ for the yearly tip. My thought about those rich guys was that they felt just letting the hoi polloi be near them was enough of a gift.

              Reply
        1. td

          Smokey Smith was the Canadian analogue of Audie Murphy and liked to tell the story of getting the Victoria Cross from the King. They gave him his very own Major to make sure he showed up for the award and that he eventually got back to his hotel. He didn’t have to pay for his own drinks in London for a very long time.

          On the night of 21/22 October 1944 at the River Savio, in Northern Italy, Private Smith was in the spearhead of the attack which established a bridgehead over the river. With a PIAT anti-tank launcher he disabled a 44-ton Mark V Panther tank at a range of just 30 feet (10 metres), and while protecting a wounded comrade, he killed four panzergrenadiers and routed six others. When another tank was sent to take out his position, he used another PIAT to damage it enough to retreat. He then carried his wounded comrade, and joined a counter-attack to disperse the Germans still attacking his previous position.[2] The squad destroyed three Panther Tanks, two self-propelled artillery pieces, a half-track, a scout car, and a few German soldiers. During his career, Smith was promoted to corporal nine times, but subsequently demoted back to private nine times prior to his actions at the River Savio. He later achieved the rank of sergeant.

          Reply
  13. hemeantwell

    I’d hoped that NC was a Deleuze-free area but, alas, he’s seeped in. He and his collaborator Guattari only deserve scorn for the negligent way they tried to argue that the supposedly free-flowing energies of schizophrenia constitute a kind of liberation from the strictures of the Oedipus complex. This was the worst kind of victory in and by theory. Anyone who has spent time with working with schizophrenics knows that this delightfully unstructured state is in fact riven with terrifying experiences of anxiety and fear, along with desolated loneliness. In some ways they remind me of those French intellectuals, recently under review, who thought it insouciant and brave to have sex with minors, who most certainly benefited from the experience.

    Fwiw, I’ve recently read Cassirer’s “The Individual and Cosmos in Renaissance Philosopy,” a short, fascinating book that makes very clear how much, in contradiction to pomo notions, the early phases of the Enlightenment were about freeing thinking about experience from the cloying dogmas of the Church, not to mention their fear of divine wrath. I had some appreciation of this, but Cassirer reveals a series of intellectually grotesque positions those guys had to work through to achieve escape velocity. Anyway, I mention it because D & G were a step backwards, deducing the nature of schizophrenic experience to satisfy a doctrinal claim.

    Reply
    1. martell

      What do you call a follower of Deleuze?

      As for Individual and Cosmos, that’s a great book by an underappreciated philosopher.

      Reply
    2. Darthbobber

      I actually slogged through both anti-Oedipus and a Thousand Plateaus. Their attack on some mainstream psychology and it’s explanatory frameworks had some merit, although some of the positions they attacked had in fact been largely abandoned for years before they came along. And there are some other useful kernels scattered about, though not enough of them to justify the works as a whole.

      And yes, they do romanticize schizophrenia, a take which they share with R. D. Lang. Schizophrenia seems the malady of choice for the political semi-psychologists to take their stance on, probably because it’s such an intractable problem. But they seem to represent less an advance than a reversion to seeing the afflicted shamanisticly as the divinely mad.

      Like much of this kind of writing, it falls into the “sounds good when you say it fast” category. And for something often presented as “radical” it invariably fails to offer useful guidance for dealing with any concretely existing situation.

      Reply
      1. RMO

        Wait, that stuff was written by a human being, not a crude bot? Really? I’ve come across lorem ipsum which was more readable.

        Reply
  14. Billy

    “Virus Fears Hurt U.S. Economy Whether Locked-Down or Reopened”

    CHS really nailed it today:

    “the top 10% of households account for almost 50% of consumer spending. These households are older, and own the majority of assets –between 80% and 90% of stocks, bonds, business equity, rental real estate, etc. This demographic has “been there, done that” and foregoing fine dining, sports events, concerts, cruises, etc. is not much a burden and may actually be a relief. This is the demographic with the most to lose in returning to care-free air travel, jamming into crowded venues and cafes, etc…Meanwhile, the entire food chain of landlords, banks, local government, employees, etc. depends on enterprises returning to 100% of 2019 revenues. As tenants stop paying rent, landlords default on mortgages, sending banks into insolvency, leaving local government with less tax revenues and employees with fewer job prospects….To a degree few appreciate, the “recovery” since 2009 has been dependent on over-spending, over-borrowing and over-speculating:”

    https://www.oftwominds.com/blog.html

    Cue Stephen Foster’s Old Folks At Home.
    the real cause of the Depression?

    Reply
    1. Darius

      The Fed will always bail out the banks, the only people who really matter. There is that societal collapse thing, but finance capital has proven remarkably resilient with both parties its captives.

      Reply
  15. drumlin woodchuckles

    That governor of Georgia is a real Typhoid MAGA corona-spreader. Another phrase for him and people like him might be Typhoid MAGAtard.

    I give those phrases away to anyone who might want to use them.

    Reply
    1. Glen

      Kemp is a real piece of work isn’t he? The more you look into this guy’s history, the lower he goes, it is truly amazing.

      But Walmart just mandated masks in their stores so the real owner of the Deep South has spoken.

      Kemp better get on the PHONE RIGHT NOW and tell those flaming libtards that own Walmart where to STICK THOSE MASKS or he will lose ALL SUPPORT!

      Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Wouldn’t it be neat if the woman (whose name I forget) who ran against Kemp for governor and allegedly “lost” the “election” were to run again and this time win no matter what the Kempsters could do about it?

          Reply
          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Well, she skedaddled off to Washington and got herself on Neera Tanden’s payroll immediately after her defeat, instead of staying on the ground and fighting Kemp, so the neatness is probably marginal… Not that there’s anything wrong with the neat.

            Reply
    2. jsn

      I’ve been calling them “open carry pie holes”. My gun nut brother got it instantly. He wears a mask.

      Reply
  16. DJ Greenfire

    OMG – The creepy Disney bit co-opts the Rainbow Tribe, where the words “Welcome home, brother,” or, “Welcome home, sister,” were always on the lips of those greeting you, as you walk (or sometimes paddle) into the site, usually on public land somewhere very remote.

    Come, citizen, be swept up in the illusory fantasy, where your children may be whisked behind a secret door to be drugged by some Johnny Depp-esque Willy Wonka-lookin’ fella. Thereupon to be dressed in a Goofy costume, left to wander aimlessly on Disney properties until the end of time. Welcome home, all is safe. Sleep now, citizen….

    Reply
  17. Wukchumni

    I don’t get it really, why arm a jumbo shrimp with a measly 6 shooter when everybody knows that the wily crustacean is much more capable with an assault rifle at a bare minimum and hopefully a .50 caliber Beowulf.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      A variant of Occam’s Razor? [Don’t underrate its abilities with a six-shooter.] The other weapons remain in his bunker, cleaned, oiled, and ready.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        You’d think being multi-legged would be to a shrimp’s advantage, giving it somewhat natural Gatling gun status, but they suffer from poor aim and typically end up as part of an all-you-can-eat dinner.

        Reply
        1. Jeremy Grimm

          We only capture and eat the shrimp who are depressed by the state of the Gulf and for those with wider reading — the state of the Oceans. A shrimp with a six-shooter is more than adequately lethal. I doubt such shrimp end up as our dinners. The rest — are better eaten by us than feed the deep. The sign glorifies the defiant.

          Reply
  18. Phacops

    Wow! Those photos from Roadside America made available from the Library of Congress is the lift that I needed after depressing reminders of our social failings. I like seeing the physical reminders of the idiosyncratic, sometimes loony, but aspirational yearnings scattered about American roadsides. I like to notice them on my travels, whether Super Dawg in Chicago or the Dickeyville Grotto in Wisconsin, or oddities further afield.

    Reply
    1. Robert Gray

      Can’t let this topic pass without mentioning the wonderful Tom Robbins novel from the ’70s, ‘Another Roadside Attraction’, which fortunately is still in print!

      Reply
  19. rowlf

    Lambert, I give up on journalism today. Thanks for letting me post stuff that shows up way below the emotional headlines.

    As a gift, as such, a friend at work got to play with an electronic sniffer a few months ago and got to prove that since you start with 500 degree Fahrenheit air bled off the compressor section of a turbine engine, and have really good HEPA filters and cabin air flow management, jet airliner air is very clean. He also played around and proved to himself that cloth face masks work really well in controlling expelled air from people.

    I guess the next step is challenging the electronic sniffer with a durian.

    Reply
  20. allan

    High Court Frustrates Restoration of Voting Rights to Florida’s Ex-Felons [Courthouse News]

    Turning down felons whose chance to vote again is nearly in reach, the Supreme Court refused Thursday to vacate a stay that keeps them from registering in time for the upcoming presidential race.

    There are just over 100 days until Election Day, but the 11th Circuit halted voter registration for Florida felons two weeks ago at the request of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.

    The case stems from a law the state put in place last year after citizens adopted an amendment to the Florida Constitution restoring voting rights to any felon who served their full sentence, unless they were convicted of murder or felony sex offenses.

    Though Amendment 4 opened the door to nearly a million voters who would have otherwise been precluded from participating because of their criminal pasts, the law SB 7066 required felons to pay any outstanding restitution, fines or fees before being eligible to vote. …

    The complete text of Amendment 4, approved by 64% of Florida voters in 2018,

    This amendment restores the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case by case basis.

    was manipulated by DeSantis and the FL GOP into what is essentially a poll tax.
    Elections matter except when they don’t.

    Reply
  21. NotTimothyGeithner

    So…the NFL team from Washington’s name change might have been forced by the rumors of an impending story about to drop. Its just rumors at the moment, but um…

    Reply
  22. Pelham

    Re Sanders: I have to confess I’m growing a bit weary. If he — Sanders personally — really wants to start a revolution, he has to hammer first and with full force at the banker-serving notion that federal deficits matter.

    This is just the first step but it’s the biggest and is absolutely indispensable to get past the “how you gonna pay for it” garbage that, otherwise, will eternally block just about every material thing the “revolution” is supposed to achieve.

    Tragically, Sanders won’t go that far, despite years of careful instruction from Stephanie Kelton. I understand there may be a political calculus behind this, but it’s fatal, just like his 180-degree turnaround on immigration from 2016 to 2020.

    Reply
    1. flora

      re: Sanders (D)(1)

      He got his “first thing” backwards.
      It should be this:
      First: demand Congress put more funding into poor communities and healthcare.

      Don’t make this contingent on doing something else first so you can then do what you want afterward. Certainly don’t make it contingent on cutting military spending (na ga happen in my lifetime). In fact, don’t make it contingent on anything else. Congress has shown they can spend money with no prior contingencies on things they want to spend money on. Didn’t Bernie listen to Kelton?

      Reply
    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Bernie’s coattails are so short, I think he only wears jackets. Bernie’s convictions — as evidenced by his recent actions — extend as far as his personal integrity [which I greatly admire] but not too much beyond his shadow at high noon. His rhetoric is without equal in today’s political spheres. I will write-in his name on my ballot in November. He is the very best of all leaders in the last many decades who have stepped forward to lead our country. I am deeply saddened by that as I contemplate the elections in November and the bitter future I see for the US and for this planet.

      Reply
      1. jsn

        For a while I thought it was his private screening of the Zapruder film by some CIA democrat.

        Now I’m starting to think, however morally incorruptible, for which I’ll alway admire him, he’s just plain dense.

        He really can’t see how corrupt and irredeemable the whole rotten show he has a bit part in, with which he’s content, is.

        Reply
      2. deplorado

        I also was thinking the write in Bernie, but now am inclined to write in Jesse Ventura.
        Bernie has shown no spine when things got real – while I trust that Jesse will not be anyone’s sheepdog.

        Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      What happens if Bernie announces in 2023 that he is once gain standing for President of the United States for the 2024 elections?

      “This time for sure!”

      Reply
        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Somebody we haven’t heard of yet. It would be great if a star emerged from the strike wave — say, Sara Nelson. She has her own power base and doesn’t need to suck up to the NGOs.

          Reply
  23. ACF

    Re “The decline began before stay-at-home orders were in place, was closely tied to the number of virus deaths locally, and showed that consumers were actively avoiding the busier stores” yes, exactly. That’s also the lesson of Sweden. It’s the lesson in the part of NY I’m in too. Currently we have essentially no cases. See the North Fork here: https://projects.newsday.com/long-island/tracking-the-coronavirus-on-long-island/ it’s all 0 or 1 case in the past 7 days. And yet everyone exerts mask discipline, and not just b/c it’s officially ordered. People are very shy about crowds & indoor stuff. We were traumatized first go round. Everyone knows someone who had it in their family, even if the person didn’t. E.g., my friend’s brother in law was in ICU; my neighbor had two family members (that did not live next door) die. Another friend’s adult sons got it and recovered without hospitals, but who knows about long term damage?

    It’s also my response to my D friends who get all ‘deplorable’ about the non-mask wearers in hotspots. They will learn the hard way, I say, and we should pity them not scorn them. And when they talk about how people should know better, I remind them that “our” Americans’ information sources are profoundly silo’d and it’s not that non-mask wearing people who dismiss covid want to die or infect others, they just don’t have information that makes the risk real to them.

    Reply
    1. furies

      ” They will learn the hard way, I say, ”

      um What about those that must make their way in the world? Those deplorable people are risking lives, man.

      Reply
      1. ACF

        Yes, I think it totally sucks that employers and the government are not ensuring that everyone who is required to work has a resuable N95 mask-equivalent.

        And it’s really horrible if employers won’t let employees wear what they have; that should be criminal.

        I more was expressing my distate/frustration with D friends of mine riffing on pictures of maskless people/people fighting mask mandates as if the people doing it were intrinsically defective, which is the whole deplorable thing.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Maybe it would be simpler if the insurance of a business was linked to whether they enforced masks or not. So if somebody tries to sue an establishment because they think that they got the virus there and that establishment did not enforce masks, the insurance companies for that establishment would say “Sorry bub. Can’t help you. You’re on your own.”

          Reply
        2. susieQ

          A dental student I know has been told by her school that they will no longer supply N95 masks for use in clinics until they can be properly fitted (no word on when that will be). They will instead be given surgical masks to protect them from the aerosols created during procedures. They also won’t let students provide their own N95s since they can’t be sure they are safe. As if an ill-fitting N95 is less safe than a surgical mask.:

          MASK AND PPE USE CRITERIA

          CDC Recommendations updated June 17, 2020 will be used as our current guide for both the use of PPE as well as preserving our supply due to ongoing shortages.

          Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used every day by healthcare personnel (HCP) to protect themselves, patients, and others when providing care. PPE helps protect HCP from many hazards encountered in healthcare facilities.

          The greatly increased need for PPE caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused PPE shortages nationally, posing a tremendous challenge to the U.S. healthcare system. Healthcare facilities are having difficulty accessing the needed PPE and are having to identify alternate ways to provide patient care.

          Conventional Capacity Strategies

          Use facemasks according to product labeling and local, state, and federal requirements.
          The use of KN95 and N95 will be a part of our ongoing protocol as we move into other phases. However, KN95 and N95 masks are considered respirators and are under OSHA regulation. Respirator use must be in the context of a complete respiratory protection program in accordance with OSHA Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134external icon). DHCP should be medically cleared and fit tested if using respirators with tight-fitting facepieces (e.g., a NIOSH-approved N95 respirator) and trained in the proper use of respirators, safe removal and disposal, and medical contraindications to respirator use.

          [dental school] is finalizing fit testing protocol to ensure compliance with OSHA regulations and all faculty, students, and staff involved in clinical practice that involves aerosol producing procedures.

          Until fit testing is initiated, KN95 and N95 masks will no longer be available or utilized in any [dental school]-CDM clinics. Dental professionals should follow all N95 use requirements, including obtaining a medical clearance and initial fit test if an N95 mask is employed.

          FDA-cleared surgical masks are designed to protect against splashes and sprays and are prioritized for use when such exposures are anticipated, including surgical procedures and will be our current standard of practice.

          Reply
    2. Jeremy Grimm

      If people are responding to their perceived risk of getting Corona and not listening to the wise counsels and pressures of our fearless leaders — does that mean they are behaving like the mythical rational consumer — the “economic man” — or does that mean they are not responding properly to their orders as given? Does this discrepancy offer confirmation of fundamental axiom of the Market which should[?] be applauded? … or does it indicate a fundamental breakdown in the obedience our Society demands and requires?

      Reply
      1. ACF

        I think that people use their best available information to make decisions that seem rational to them.

        I think that when people have direct experience of something they are more likely to rely on that information, even if the experience was rare and so their judgment is distorted by it. In this case, I think people who have gotten up close and personal with covid tend to respond with very strong risk minimization behavior, even if/after the risk itself has gone way down. I don’t think it really has to do that much with following/not following orders, although I think large numbers of people still don’t have direct experience of it, so orders are relevant in shaping behavior within that group

        Reply
        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Your comment is odd responding to my comment. Your argument that people are not really rational in avoiding risk resonates with me, defeating my first postulate … but orders are orders. Neither risk minimization nor direct experience should have anything to do with following orders — orders are orders. Should I take comfort that
          “orders are relevant in shaping behavior within that group [large numbers of people still don’t have direct experience of it(Corona).]”?

          Reply
          1. ACF

            So, I’m more making observations instead of an argument. I think orders are a kind of information. Outside of the military, I don’t think many people view orders like ordinary law, particularly if no coercive enforcement is attached to the order.

            I think people are more likely to obey/disobey simply because the order is an order because of the pre-existing mindset they bring to the situation. I think that bias toward following/rejecting orders gets modified by what sources of information that people trust tell them about the order. So, e.g. if you are a Fox news devotee, and you have no direct experience of the virus, you are probably less likely to follow a Covid mask order just because it’s an order; if you’re an MSNBC viewer with no direct experience you are probably more likely to follow the order. If you have direct experience of the virus, you’re likely to wear a mask and want others to regardless of orders.

            Reply
    3. MarkSparky

      I don’t follow your reasoning. It’s also an indictment of conservatives who can be criticized at times for not caring about anything unless it affects them personally. Example: Ronnie and Nancy Reagan not showing interest/empathy for the AIDS crisis until learning about friends of their son who were affected. Do the COVID-19 numbers have to spike so high that every non-mask wearer eventually knows someone who’s become quite ill or died, before they’ll think it’s ‘real’ to them??

      Reply
      1. ACF

        Yes, “conservatives” should be indicted for not caring about anything unless it affects them personally. I’m not saying it’s OK to disregard the available evidence and be negligent or even reckless regarding infection (or in the case of covid-parties, intentionally being/spreading infection.)

        And Regan was horrible about AIDS; I remember.

        I hope the mask-rejectors wise up faster. I just am so tired of my D friends being in constant heavy judgment mode and totally dismissive of the idea that the person they despise unmet actually (in their own head) is behaving rationally on their assessment of the information they choose to believe is high quality. When we cannot see each others’ humanity, and dismiss out of hand the intrinsic value of people we dismiss as idiots and deplorable we make things worse. I’m not suggesting we need to meet in the middle and everyone wear half a mask. I’m saying people need to make an effort to feel compassion and empathy for everyone. Except the top 0.1%; guillotines all around there…

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          it’s the silos everyone is stuck in.
          as well as, like Moe sez, that nebulous subconscious level where emotions can have an outsized effect.
          the people we’re talking about here…those on the Right, the right or just leaning that way…are not well known for their soul searching(except in the context of church), their rigorous examination of their own biases or motives or influences, or anything resembling a need for falsifiable argument or belief.
          I’ve studied these people my whole life…at very close range….and that’s just not how they work.
          They arrive at a belief about the world, and if it fits into their framework, inherited from daddy, it becomes a part of it…and then the questioning and investigation are Done. It’s Settled.
          and Certain.
          No need to go over it all again…and indeed, attempting to do so without careful preparation(or some shock, emotional or otherwise), is seen as an affront.
          The specimens i have studied the most closely, wouldn’t know the Scientific Method if it bit them…but they perceive themselves as more or less logical creatures.
          Trauma…as well as mere uncertainty… is pushed down, or talked about with the preacher, if at all.
          There’s a reason we don’t have anything close to a shrink in my part of the world….that’s what church is for…and a stiff upper lip and “manning up” are indicated…and this applies to the female of this cohort, too.
          and that’s why in places like where i live, things change so glacially.
          Less so in more diverse and urban environments, due to more exposure to the Other, and their weird ideas….but all this still applies.
          The silos have merely exacerbated what was already there…pushed buttons repeatedly that have always been right there under the surface.
          They get their news from fox and rush and the preacher, and the belief structure is continually reinforced by those around them.
          To get to them, one cannot come charging in, dictating orders, and preaching to them that they’re essentially benighted fools, in dire need of the enlightenment that only msnbc can bring. The hackles will raise, and the baseball bat will be reached for.
          The chest thumping and branch waving will ensue, and a hostile and impenetrable resistance will quickly engulf them…and the wagons will circle.
          It’s taken me 20+ years to be able to talk about tankless waterheaters and FDR and Organic/Sustainable Ag…and maybe we should no longer allow the county road department to spray diesel for weed killer on county dirt roads.
          …at least without being chased out of the room, threatened with extermination, or…at best…regarded as insane.
          They had to like me and all my idiosyncrasies, before they would lend an ear….and it helped immensely that i married into the second oldest Mexican family around, and thereby became something other than a Ferriner.
          with the mask thing, they were told, in their silos, that it was all a hoax, and that the admonition to wear masks was the first step on a slippery slope…and this line of thinking had been prepared over generations.
          It’s really no wonder that it played out like this.
          Facebook and Twitter were probably bad ideas.
          Am radio was bad enough in this regard.

          Reply
          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Since the virus goes everywhere, the only answer is quarantines and border checks at the State level (real ones, not Cuomo’s theatre). I don’t know how that fits with the interstate commerce clause. It might be simpler to deFederate — and no, I am not saying that Blue Cities are in any way more virtuous — but as I keep asking, who gets the nukes?

            Reply
            1. Amfortas the hippie

              sadly…and because of what i witnessed and experienced after 9-11…I’ve deemed it necessary to avoid foreign policy and questions of war and “enemies” in my feed store teabilly whispering.
              Domestic policy, political economy and the very broad and deep contradictions therein have proved a hard enough slog(20+ years,lol)
              These folks aren’t ready to learn that we’re the evil empire.
              I’d be murdered if i told them what i really think.
              the closest i’ve been able to come to that whole mess is the Golden Rule, and the strange disconnect between trusting the government to tell the truth about questions of war, and total distrust about things like educating their kids or fluoride in the water.
              as we’re learning about domestic policy, it’s prolly gonna take an unmitigated and perfectly obvious disaster right close to home to be able to talk seriously about all that.
              This is American Legion country…not VFW.
              there’s a difference.

              Reply
          2. eg

            I think your description (excepting a few specific local and temporal peculiarities) would describe the mental framework of most people in most times and places all the way back to the Neolithic revolution.

            Reply
    4. Mo's Bike Shop

      And there’s just plain emotional denial, putting on a mask means accepting all that’s been lost. Everyone goes at very different speeds there.

      I’m still going through accepting just how shambolic our institutions are. Feels like Three Mile Island, nobody even knows what they’re doing.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I’m still going through accepting just how shambolic our institutions are.

        Me too. It’s hard to accept. Perhaps if I were younger it would be easier. I still have the habit of thought that all we have to do is “swing the pendulum back” but I don’t think that’s possible anymore.

        Reply
        1. polecat

          The pendulum fell off it’s moorings .. but oh boy, that thing sure can cut!

          Pandemonium Pit, here we come.

          Oh … and be sure to do your intended futile duty, you Maggots .. and Vote .. for all the ungood it’ll do ya!

          Reply
  24. JTMcPhee

    So ICU Covid DEATHS are a little down, all cheer! — but anyone talking about the sequelae, the morbidities, this nasty virus causes, and the demographics of people carrying all kinds of disabilities forward to “be a burden on society”? I’m sure there’s damn little planning or resource set-asides to deal with this other feature of the pandemic…

    Reply
  25. flora

    re: “The Surprising Cross-Racial Saga of Modern Wealth Inequality” -[Adolph Reed,

    Thanks for the link, and for introducing me to Adolph Reed’s writing a few years back.

    Reply
  26. Wukchumni

    Got a jury summons during the plague, what a drag. Must be pretty creepy being around the herd of potential courtiers, looking for a reason to be culled, and then if by chance get selected, get to sit in air conditioned chamber for who knows how long?

    There ought to be a law against it.

    Reply
    1. Keith

      Double check to see if the court is actually in session. I received a summons too, directing me to the district court. I went to verify online, and then navigating the website (why should anything be easy), I found out I was excused as the court was still not in session due to the virus.

      If you want to get off, I would recommend coming off as too intelligent or just good old fashioned racist. It should help you get passed over. However, if you would rather be more immature about it, roast some garlic at 400 the night before and eat it. You will have an insane amount of gas that you can unleash upon the voir dire. I suspect that would also get you excused.

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Just keep coughing and looking apologetic during the selection process. Maybe something to raise your temperature and make you sweat like hot chilli.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Last time a few years ago I really wanted to be selected for jury duty, as the case was grand theft pistachios, and the perp had allegedly stolen an 18 wheeler full of them, and the trial was expected to last a few days, but no dice.

        Reply
  27. Henry Moon Pie

    Virus fears–

    ‘The politicians like to feel like they’re the ones in control of making the decision, but at the end of the day the virus is the boss,’ said Goolsbee, a former aide to President Barack Obama.

    Even an old Obamacrat like Austan is starting to get it.

    Reply
  28. chrimbus

    Haven’t made it thru the whole thing yet, but here is some deranged framing of the 2020 race / future of the dems thru the lens of the Mitten’s favorite CIA dem.

    link to politico article

    Interested in what everyone things about how to square this approach (intensified Russiagate in defense of occupying Afghanistan forever + solidifying center-right gains) & loose talk of diverting Pentagon money by a handful of members of congress.

    Portent of bad things to come:

    This is the first installment of a POLITICO series that will examine the 2020 election through the eyes of Slotkin, an exceptionally ambitious and uniquely vulnerable congresswoman, as well as through the eyes of voters in Michigan’s 8th District, a strategically vital location for both parties in their quest for control of Washington next year and beyond.

    “Strategically vital” from the vantage point that the electorate never, ever be expanded.

    Reply
  29. dcblogger

    as of now it looks like millions of Americans will be homeless by November. Many of these people will be previously middle class, maybe even prosperous. They will all have friends and relatives. This will be a radicalizing experience for all concerned. Nobody among our elites, not our political elites, news media elites, corporate elites, or financial elites, give any indication that they understand the implications of this sort of disaster. Coronavirus will make the economy scream, and our elites do not seem to understand that this has implications for them.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      “This will be a radicalizing experience for all concerned.”

      absolutely.
      Now go forth and evangelize.
      If we don’t, somebody else most certainly will.

      all these people, formerly middle class…even if only actually in their minds…are already beginning to learn a lot of shocking things…like how things like the Unemployment System actually works…how the food stamp program actually functions…and that poor people things, in general, are not designed to help, no matter what’s written on the masthead, but to punish and shame.
      This will only get much, much worse…as a large segment of the population goes rapidly through the stages of grief, and enters the Precariat.
      We should welcome our new brothers and sisters, and help them by any means to direct their quite righteous ire where it belongs.
      if we cook the rich, does that kill the covid?

      Reply
  30. Expat2uruguay

    Greg Palast, Noam Chomsky, Amy Goldman and Latosha Brown will be live at 6pm Chicago time to discuss Palast’s new book about how Trump will still the 2020 election thanks to the Supreme Court allowing the purging of Voters. Apparently this will be carried out on Greg Palast Facebook page. https://facebook.com/events/s/how-trump-stole-2020-book-laun/563225954347749/?ti=as

    This podcast from “This is Hell” discusses it. https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5zb3VuZGNsb3VkLmNvbS91c2Vycy9zb3VuZGNsb3VkOnVzZXJzOjcwNjA3MjEyL3NvdW5kcy5yc3M&ep=14&episode=dGFnOnNvdW5kY2xvdWQsMjAxMDp0cmFja3MvODU5MjQ4MTM5

    Reply
  31. Anonymous@MW

    I bet my stimulus check that Google displays “No exact match…” message because the software engineer (with H1B visa at Mountain View campus) used a wrong threshold value to compare the number of search results returned.

    Luckily, it is just a search program. Nothing like a pandemic modeling algorithm. /s

    Reply
  32. allan

    Trump health officials to recommend against retesting COVID-19 patients [The Hill]

    Top Trump administration officials are preparing guidance that will recommend people who test positive for COVID-19 do not need to get retested to prove they no longer have the disease.

    The move, previewed in a call with reporters by the administration’s testing coordinator Brett Giroir, comes as the U.S. testing system faces severe strains and a national backlog of results.

    The guidance will represent a major change in ensuring people with COVID-19 don’t spread the disease.

    Giroir said the change is meant to reduce unnecessary testing. …

    Giroir said the guidance is not being issued as a way to prevent a shortages of tests, even as the system is being strained. …

    Sure, Jan Brett.

    Looks like someone whipped up an Excel and realized that “The science” might not stand in the way
    of opening the schools, but the testing arithmetic sure does. Go long printers of liability waivers.

    Reply
    1. Daryl

      Guessing pretty illegal in the face of Fair Housing Act.

      Which I suppose would be in keeping with AirBNB + the whole disruptive startup model.

      Reply
  33. Amfortas the hippie

    don’t remember seeing this anywhere, here.
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/07/16/tax-havens-apple-costs-pandemic/

    looks so out of place,lol.

    i’m pretty wiped out and therefore medicated from our san antonio excursion, today, but I’m reminded of certain pathogens that infect insects and mice and such, and modify their behaviours to enhance it’s own reproduction…like toxoplasmosis gondii, for instance.
    Perhaps Davos Man is suffering from such an organism.
    quite a bit of aberrant behaviour, of late.

    —-on our travels: everywhere we went, 90% of the people were wearing masks…properly, for the most part.
    the more plain-jane models were worn by what i grokked to be recant adapters of the practice…perhaps grudgingly.
    I noticed several pretty women in yoga pants and skinny jeans and stylish tops who sported rather elaborate face coverings…pretty, even….and i noticed several of the grudging plain-janes eyeing them with what could have been envy…or revelation.
    The only one’s without masks were men…18-80…and in generally redneckish attire, along a continuum from real ranch hand to cowboy dandy to cowboy business.
    They were mostly scowling.
    This is even in my little town, where resistance was pretty vocal and visually obvious as recently as tuesday.
    Traffic on the freeway, and the highway out to here, was light…in san antone, it was subdued…but we didn’t roam all that much.
    the vibe everywhere was different, somehow.
    like a held breath.

    Reply
  34. Mikel

    Re: “Federal stockpile is thin amid coronavirus surge, internal documents show” [NBC]

    There is no government….it’s a profit worshipping death cult that wears red and blue.

    Reply
  35. anon in so cal

    >Orange County, California and kids back to school

    Santa Ana Unified will be online. Irvine is giving parents four days to vote for all online / hybrid / in-person.

    Reply
  36. allan

    Another day, another Bill Barr hack installed as a US Attorney:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General William Barr installed a new interim U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Alabama on Thursday, the latest appointee to come out of the Justice Department in Washington to serve in an acting capacity as a top federal prosecutor.

    Prim Escalona, the department’s principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Legislative Affairs, will take over from Jay Towns, who resigned on Wednesday to take a job with a defense contractor.

    A Justice Department spokesman did not have any immediate comment on why Barr tapped Escalona, who does not appear to have a background prosecuting criminal cases based on her LinkedIn profile. …

    For some definition of “does not appear”.
    From her profile on Avvo: Real estate: 34%, Litigation: 33%, Employment and labor: 33%

    Exactly the background you expect to oversee a team of federal prosecutors.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith

      Town was also a Trump appointment. But by Sessions, which is likely why he had to go. Notice the timings right after Sessions losing the primary.

      You seem to forget that Eric Schneiderman, the former NY Attorney General, had no criminal prosecution background either.

      Reply
      1. allan

        Strangely, Escalona seems to be (or have been) very close to Sessions. From the UAlabama Law School
        press release
        back when Sessions was confirmed as AG:

        …While most UA Law graduates worked for Sessions while in law school or after graduation, Prim Formby Escalona (‘08), an associate at Maynard Cooper and Gale in Birmingham, worked for Sessions before attending the University of Alabama School of Law.

        An Alabama native and a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Escalona went to work for Sessions in 2001, first as a Legislative Correspondent and later as a Legislative Assistant.

        After she decided to attend law school, Escalona applied to two schools: Georgetown and Alabama. Sessions wrote a letter of recommendation for her to attend Alabama Law, and she fell in love with the school and its faculty during a campus visit. Sessions later wrote a letter of recommendation on Escalona’s behalf to Judge William H. Pryor, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, where she clerked before serving as the Deputy Solicitor General in the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Alabama.

        “People are loyal to (Sessions) because he’s loyal to them,” she said. “That says a lot about him. It’s the mark of a good person.”

        So, the dynamics are not clear, although it’s possible Ms. Escalona has learned the ways of D.C. all too well.

        Reply
  37. JBird4049

    About the water spewing into the Lincoln Tunnel being “concerning.” If next time, I am on BART, and while in the Transbay Tunnel, I saw some water streaming in like that, I would be f***ing terrified. Just saying.

    Reply

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